Thursday, March 29, 2007

An interesting read

The Strib's blog this morning finally asks the obvious question: what's the point of a resolution that doesn't really even call for a pullout?

A suprisingly good exmination of the spineless Democraic bill running through Congress right now--go check it out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Last Horse Crosses the Finish Line...

So I'm probably the last lefty blog to link to this, but if you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

People (including myself) often want to blame Americans for our lack of knowledge on anything outside of the U.S. or most of the things inside the U.S. But I must say, you have to have some sympathy for us when our media won't even report anything for us to learn.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Weclome, Tubby!

According to several sources, recently deposed University of Kentucky b-ball coach Tubby Smith is coming to the U.

While Tubby is not his actual name (turns out it's Orlando...who knew), you still gotta love a guy who unblinkingly goes by a nickname that is considered an insult 99% of the time. Though to be fair, it reportedly comes from the fact that he liked hanging out in the family wash tub as a youngster, not a bad spot for one of 17 children to get a little alone time, I guess.

But more importantly, this may be the ticket to finally turning around the U's, how shall we put it, lackluster performance in hoops for the past decade. Ever though the ban that prevented us from entering the postseason has long ago been lifted, it seems like we're still in an embargo.

Of course we did just win the National Championship in wrestling and are well on our way to winning yet another hockey championship, but it would be nice for the U to become good in a sport people actually watch and/or care about for a change.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Update on Colorado folks

Elderly women beaten so badly by the police that they had to be taken to the hospital? Serves those bitches right! See what the corporate media had to say about the events in Colorado:

March 20, 2007 - 1:24AM
Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial

Parade crashers
Free to speak; not free to disrupt

Everything went perfectly as planned. For the anti-war war protesters,
that is — not for parade organizers. Just as the party crashers
anticipated, the news on Sunday wasn't about Saturday's St. Patrick's
Day parade downtown — which many people judged the best in recent
memory — but about the disruptions and arrests that occurred when a
handful of anti-war activists tried to hijack it for selfish purposes.
Photos of Colorado Springs cops dragging a woman over the pavement
made the coup complete, providing protesters not only with the press
attention but with the martyr status they obviously crave.

In the process, the city of Colorado Springs was made to look
intolerant toward free speech — when it was simply trying to uphold
parade guidelines and keep a non-ideological celebration of Irishness
from becoming a platform for political statements.

The cops might have handled the protesters more gingerly. A failure to
do so played right into their hands. But the bulk of the blame for
this incident rests with the agitators, who may have gotten a permit
to march, using a bit of subterfuge, but clearly acted in violation of
parade rules that bar demonstrations on social issues.

The police were asked by parade organizers to enforce the rules. When
some of the protesters declined to comply, they were arrested. If
arrested people flop down on the ground and play possum, they run the
risk of getting rugburn when they are forcibly removed. It's a real
drag, so to speak.

Members of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission say "peace" is
not a social issue, but they're unconvincing. A controversial war is
raging. It's a politically charged, and frequently partisan, issue.
And crashing the St. Patrick's parade constitutes an unwarranted
imposition on thousands of people who came to be entertained, not

"It is our goal not to turn this into a confrontational political
atmosphere," parade chairman John O'Donnell said. "It really is to
come and have fun."

It's true that politicians frequently march or ride in the parade.
This opens up event organizers to a charge of inconsistency. So,
perhaps it's time to ban politicians altogether — whom nobody comes to
see, anyway. This would draw the line against politicking more boldly,
for those who are tempted to bend the rules.

Distinctions can get blurred in situations such as this, so let's be
clear. Preventing a political disruption at a non-political event
isn't an infringement of anyone's free speech rights. The protesters
are free to say anything they want, in the appropriate setting — as
they did at an anti-war protest on Sunday, which anyone could attend
who was interested in hearing about the war. But they aren't free to
hijack someone else's event — especially one designed to be apolitical
— in search of a captive audience.

Even if commission members didn't set out to create a scene — and this
had the smell of a planned provocation — they had to be aware it might
occur. But as so often happens with political zealots, their thirst
for attention overcame all other considerations — including their
consideration for other people.

Ah, to be Irish in Colorado

Apparently just hitting the 1920s in Colorado, the police were busy last weekend running the Irish out of town. An old mentor of mine, Fr. Frank Cordaro (retired) went out to Colorado Springs on a speaking tour and while he was there, decided to march in the St. Paddy’s day parade with some other peace and justice folks as part of the Bookman parade entry, a local book store that paid its entry fee and was an accepted parade participant. The Bookman people are peace folks and they have been part of the parade the last couple of years. This year, as they did last year, folks marching with the Bookman mobile wore green T-shirts with the peace sign on the back and front.

Apparently, all was well until they fell in line with the other parade entries, one block into the parade. They were then greeted by a man who identified himself as a parade organizer who told them we were not a legitimate parade entry (despite their having documentation proving they were). The police were immediately called into the fray. And before any clarity or and due process was afforded them, they were thrown off the parade route - some quite literally. Seven of us were arrested and beaten.

Of course, no police were arrested for their illegal and brutal actions.

Check out the nice li’l photo journal of the events here, and sigh in realization that the pigs are the same the world over. Oh, and the fella near the bottom in the choke-hold is the 60+ year old retired priest only two years off of a quadruple bypass surgery that was quite the influential guy in my upbringing. Of course, being a somewhat frail old man with a long history of pacifism, you can understand why he had to be slammed to the ground for the protection of the armed officers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's been four fun-filled years

Yeah, it's officially been 4 years since the war started. Sometimes I look at the news and catch myself thinking "Holy shit! That thing is still going on?" I mean, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, and even I can see through all the crap they're putting out on why we need to stay there. And so is the entire American public, who consistently polls over 60% in favor of leaving immediately.

But to lighten your overwhelming depression over the fact that this war is still going on (having well-eclipsed World War II in length at this point), here's a fun way to laugh at the right:

Via Jackson Williams at the Huffpo, a look back at what Bill Kristol and the gang o' superconservatives at the Weekly Standard found so very amusing before the war. (Of course, being the cutting-edge trend setter I am, I already pointed out all of this shit over 2 years ago...)

Here in our office there’s this giant archive of newsclips, transcripts, and Internet postings we collected in the months preceding the war, wherein a world community of jackasses confidently predicted that the events lately unfolding on our television screens could not and would not ever take place. And you can imagine the temptation, we’re sure: A lesser SCRAPBOOK would throw open the file boxes and run through the streets with treasures like these, laughing hysterically.

“This invasion of Iraq, if it goes off, will join the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Desert One, Beirut, and Somalia in the history of military catastrophe. What will set it apart, distinguishing it for all time, is the immense–and transparent–political stupidity.”

–Chris Matthews, San Francisco Chronicle, August 25, 2002

* * *

“Iraqis hate the United States government even more than they hate Saddam, and they are even more distrustful of America’s intentions than Saddam’s. . . . [I]f President Bush thinks our invasion and occupation will go smoothly because Iraqis will welcome us, then [he] is deluding himself.”

–New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, October 4, 2002

* * *

“If history is a guide, you cannot subdue a large and hostile city except by destroying it completely. Short of massacre, we will not inherit a pacified Iraq. . . . To support ‘the groundwork’ for this effort is to support a holocaust, quite soon, against Iraqi civilians and also against the troops on both sides. That is what victory means.”

–James K. Galbraith on the American Prospect website, April 1, 2003

* * *

“Cheney [down arrow] Tells ‘Meet the Press’ just before war, ‘We will be greeted as liberators.’ An arrogant blunder for the ages.”

–Newsweek, April 7, 2003 edition

* * *

“Is Wolfowitz really so ignorant of history as to believe the Iraqis would welcome us as ‘their hoped-for liberators’?”

–Eric Alterman in the April 21, 2003, issue of the Nation

Monday, March 19, 2007

A glorious spring day...

Well, four years of war have come and gone and thousands of angry folk in Minneapolis marched and rallied about it this past weekend.

It was a good rally, the kind that really gets you fired up and full of piss and vinegar to go out there and do something. Which was nice after a long stretch of fairly lackluster "are-we-going-to-even-make-a-difference type protests that had been plaguing the movement for a while.

Most interesting fact learned at the rally: the local rep of Vets For Peace described the thorough pat-down that members of the military receive when they are used as props by government figures for photo ops. But the pat-down is not looking for partisan political signs or offensive imagery; it is instead searching to make certain the soldiers are carrying no weapons they could harm or kill the politicians with. You know, those politicians that support the troops, unlike those of us who want them to come home.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What happens when the military doesn't agree with the hawks

The Democrats have started to make overtures to developing a spine, or at least something resembling one, by proposing a firm fall-2008 withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Of course,almost as soon as it had been announced, House Republican Leader John Boehner attacked the measure, using the classic "it'll only help our enemies" line, which of course assumes they aren't already winning.

Or even that we could ever win. For, Mr. "I can only hope that's pronounced how it looks" Boehner noted that "Gen. Petraeus [the U.S. commander of forces in Iraq] should be the one making the decisions on what happens on the ground in Iraq, not Nancy Pelosi or John Murtha."

Interesting you should say that, my good sir. So what does Gen. Petraeus have to say about the war? Let's ask him:

"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq," Petraeus said.

Well, sounds good to me.

To be happy again

There are plenty of things in the world that make me happy--flowers, pretty girls, large sandwiches. But few serve to put me in that mood of total ecstasy like making music. To be overly-nerdy about it, it's one of the few times I ever acheive what Mihalyi Csikszentmihaly termed flow, that point where time ceases to exist and you're totally enveloped in what you're doing with no regard to external stimuli.

To that extent, I went out and bought a drum set last week to back up the roomie's new band, which was conveniently missing a drummer. Now, I'm no Flava Flav, but I can play a fair number of instruments. However, percussion was the last line for me to cross. But even though I play like shit, it still gets that ol' time awesome feeling rushing back in, so I guess it's more than worth it. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can still end up in a bad-ass band picture...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Are all Republicans closeted homosexuals? No, seriously...

So by now I'm sure we're all familiar with the Jeff Ganon, the fake news reporter who tossed softball questions at White House press conferences, but it turns out that an entirely different softball metaphor is appropriate for his personal life, in which he's a gay male stripper and escort.

Well, as we all know, he's only the tip of the iceberg. You may have recently heard about Matt Sanchez, the Columbia student who's become a darling of the right because of his story of persecution on the campus of Columbia university. It seems that Mr. Sanchez feels like the elitist liberals at Columbia are making him feel bad for being a soldier. In fact, he's even become Ann Coulter's new best friend.

However, given her recent "faggot" remark about Edwards, and the rest of the right's abject hatred for gay folks, it would probably surprise most (but not those of us who know better) that Mr. Sanchez, years before being a poor, persecuted military man, was actually a gay porn star, who starred in such films as Jawbreaker, Donkey Dick, and Glory Holes Of Fame 3 (though to be fair, this one was wayyy better than 1 or 2), where his "11-inch uncut monster cock" earned him a devoted following.

Now certainly gay folk should be allowed in the military, and can have any political opinion they want, it's just always kind of funny in a sad way when they chose to throw their lot in with the people who think they're inhuman monsters who should be summarily executed. At least it should be interesting to see how Bill O'Reilly and others who have had him on their show and talked about how great of an American he is will justify their positions now. Well, actually, Sanchez could probably help them, because it would seem as if he's got some good experience with getting forced into uncomfortable situations.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A true marker that we're in endgame

Lately the anti-war movement has been doing nothing much but sputtering and stalling. Sure, there have been some pretty major demonstrations (over 300,000 in D.C. in the cold January weather is pretty darn good if you ask me), but it's getting nowhere. The present administration has said on numerous occasions that it simply could not give a shit about the anti-war movement. Some have hope for the Democrats, while the logical amongst us know that's not going to get us anywhere.

But a recent development may be pointing to a real end of the war. Recently, over 1,600 soldiers have signed an appeal for redress to stop the Iraq war, a form of protest permitted by military rules whereby everyone from grunts to the highest ranks can voice their objections to ordered actions.

Check out to find out more.